A LILY, the harmonious experimental project of artist James Vella (save, of course, his 2011, Japan-only dive towards a wonky pure pop form, Thunder Ate The Iron Tree) is set to release its fifth album, Sleep Through The Storm, on October 16th.
It’ll be his first to be curated by London-Dorset imprint Bytes, who recently issued the GLOK electronica projects of Ride’s Andy Bell.
Sleep Through The Storm will receive a digital and limited cassette release. If you’re intrigued, look no further: take a sip with “Endless Jasmine”, which we’ve embedded herein.
You’ll find an enveloping, cyclical minimalism, with a bubbling figure pulsing in a systems-generated kinda way, insistent above a shadowy layer of harmonic drone. It draws on the tradition of Terry Riley and sounds the perfect accompaniment for say, a sundazed afternoon in some eroded limestone landscape; somewhere at once alien and organic. It’s ambient, but not quite; electronic, but not quite.
James has music in his blood, to revisit the cliche; he’s the son of a choral/operatic soprano and a music theory lecturer. Besides his composition he runs the Phantom Limb label, home of Richard Skelton, among others. A Lily has shared the stage with Ulrich Schnauss, Silver Apples and ISAN.
James explains that the titular storm refers to a particularly shadowy era of human history – now – and all the anxieties, on display and internalised, of the moment. To sleep it through it is necessarily to protect; to batten down the hatches.
The eight tracks then, as an expression of the now we’re living through, are laments; but laments with beauty, grace and dignity.
Sleep Through The Storm may be pre-ordered now at Bytes’ Bandcamp page.